The Valley Does Watts

Pickle and Cake has this great video of a field trip of suburban LA residents to another suburb that happens to have this famous piece of outsider architecture. Of course, the trip is only noteworthy because of the "whites visiting the ghetto" angle, and the visitors to their credit are very honest about race and their perception of danger.

However, I was struck by something more trivial -- that as recently as 1994, when the video was made, people were still fascinated by light rail lines. So fascinated, that LA's (admittedly new) Blue Line shared top billing with the Watts Towers as the trip's main attractions. Even the ticket machines are an exciting and confusing part of the experience! And ticket machines, I think we can all agree, are really boring.

It's as if the scores of midwestern immigrants who settled in LA actually managed to produce children less urbane than they were. Reluctant metropolis indeed.

(Photo from Flickr user amycqx. The original full-sized color version can be viewed by clicking the photo.)

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